Samsung has started rolling out the Android Ice Cream Sandwich update for its Galaxy S II handsets in the UK, though people who have the smartphone on a subscription plan will have to wait for operators to start pushing it out.
Samsung has finally started upgrading Galaxy S II handsets in the UK with Ice Cream Sandwich. Photo credit: Bonnie Cha/CNET News
In addition, the South Korean phone maker has delivered an open-source version of its take on Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), enabling people to make their own modifications to the OS.
"Samsung UK can confirm that the rollout of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on Galaxy S II will be available from the week commencing 19th March," the company said on its Facebook page. "However, the availability of software upgrades in the UK will be dependent upon each network's own software approvals process."
O2, Orange, Vodafone, Three and T-Mobile all offer the Galaxy S II on subscription plans. "We're working to make our build available as close to Samsung's release date as possible," T-Mobile told ZDNet UK on Tuesday. None of the other operators had responded to a request for their delivery window at the time of writing. People with SIM-free, non-operator specific versions of the device do not usually have to wait to download operating system updates.
The Android platform upgrade, announced by Samsung in November, has taken several months to reach Galaxy S II owners in the UK. On 8 March, Samsung said it had started the update process in some countries, but it had "no specific schedule for rollout in the EMEA region".
In its Facebook post, the company said an ICS update for its Galaxy Note, S II LTE and Tab 8.9 and 10.1 tablet devices "will follow soon".
Also on Monday, Samsung posted an open-source version of the ICS platform to its open-source directory. The release is intended for European handsets only and will allow modders to create their own builds, ROMs and other tweaks using the platform. Previously, Samsung had made Gingerbread builds of the operating system for the handset available via the repository.
Unlike official Google-sanctioned versions of Android, some components are not included in the open-source version of the platform. Gmail, Google Play — formerly called the Android Market — and Google Maps are all non-open source apps, for example, that come included on most Google-certified Android devices as part of the operating system.
Get the latest technology news and analysis, blogs and reviews delivered directly to your inbox with ZDNet UK's newsletters.